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Reality TV Goliath takes up Bible miniseries challenge, hopes for better outcome
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey on the set of "The Bible," the 10-hour miniseries Burnett produced and directed.
March 2nd, 2013
11:00 PM ET

Reality TV Goliath takes up Bible miniseries challenge, hopes for better outcome

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
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(CNN) - Mark Burnett is the king of reality television. His shows and spinoffs command hours of prime-time television real estate. The seal of his production company One Three Media appears at the end of “Survivor,” “The Voice,” “The Apprentice,” “Shark Tank,” “The Job” and “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?”

He will tell you each show was No. 1 in the time slot. He will tell you he will take on all comers in his bare-knuckle, ratings-driven world and beat them. He will tell you on any given day he has 150 video-editing systems churning through edits on his dossier, which spans the three major broadcast networks.

But if you suggest he may not have the chops to take on a massive scripted dramatic presentation of the Bible as a 10-hour miniseries, his eyes will tell you he wants to throttle you.

My bad.

Burnett and wife, Roma Downey, have been barnstorming the country like roving preachers on horseback trying to evangelize the West. Their gospel is spreading the news of “The Bible” - their ambitious project that aims to tell the story of the Bible in 10 installments. It begins its weeklong premiere on the History Channel Sunday night.

We met in the lobby of the Washington Hilton the night before last month’s National Prayer Breakfast. They were in town to speak to Washington journalists and show clips from their project.

Burnett and Downey’s project tackles the narrative of the Bible, a story woven through 66 books of the Old Testament and New Testament. It’s a story revered by billions as divine revelation – and one they’ve compressed into 10 hours of television. What could possibly go wrong?

A lot.

Many have taken aim at dramatizing the stories of the Bible. Few of those productions stood the test of time. They knew all that going in 3 1/2 years ago when “the light bulb went off,” as Downey puts it.

“It’s been a great fun journey right, Roma?” Burnett said to his wife of nearly six years.

“And we’re still talking to each other,” Downey said, smiling.

Both Downey and Burnett were raised Catholic, Burnett in England and Downey in Ireland. They still regularly attend Mass in Los Angeles. Growing up, both watched the classic Biblical films that the Hollywood of yesteryear churned out, like “The Ten Commandments” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”

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“In Ireland, we used to sit up and wait for John Wayne to say, ‘Surely that man was the Son of God,’ at the end of 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' every Easter,” Downey said, with her thick Irish brogue dipping into a delightfully terrible John Wayne impersonation.

After showing their kids "The Ten Commandments" with Charlton Heston, their three teenagers had one request for the Bible project. They told their parents, “Please don’t make it lame.”

Making it work

The project is personal for Burnett and Downey, coming from a deep spiritual desire for more people to see and experience the stories of their faith. As Europeans, now naturalized U.S. citizens, they are stunned the Bible is not taught in public schools.

“It was time for an updating. Adding fresh visual life to a sacred text,” Burnett said.

“People have great hearts and great knowledge but no experience of filmmaking and no budgets,” Burnett said of past telling of the stories on film and television.

“Or the resources,” Downey chimed in. “We wanted to create something that was gritty and authentic. We certainly didn’t want everyone to look like they stepped out of the dry cleaners.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wir4fH6hUxw&list=UUt_Q-xP9pUFpalCF-e_ZhtA&index=18]

Burnett and Downey may not have been high on the list of many studios as producers and directors to put a massive scripted project like this together. "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" starring Donald Trump and Gary Busey is not exactly" Ben-Hur," and Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green spinning in chairs on the singing competition "The Voice" isn’t often (or ever) compared to the "Ten Commandments."

When I asked Burnett about this, he seemed genuinely insulted.

“Based on viewership, maybe I should be giving a few lessons to the people who are doing stories. Because we have five nights of No. 1 wins on prime-time television,” he started. “As a family we’ve made over 2,000 hours of American television and 8,000 worldwide.”

As he cooled down, ticking off a list of reasons why he and his wife were best suited for the job, he delved into how this project was made.

The production, he insisted, was a lot more like the production that goes into "Survivor" than nearly any feature film or television show in production.

"Survivor" typically includes a cast and crew of 400 people in a remote location with multiple helicopters and boats.

To film the Bible series, they set off for the southern tip of Morocco in Africa with a similar-size crew and hundreds of extras. Not to mention the chariots and horses.

“It was epic,” Downey said.

“Our experience with large-scale productions was very, very important,” Burnett said.

To help further bring the story to life, they brought in Lola, an Oscar-winning CGI team from London who created similar scenes for the film "Gladiator."

They went with an international ensemble for the cast because they didn’t want to distract the audience with recognizable celebrities.

Jesus was played by Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado. Many other actors came from the Theatre District in London.

An actor portrays an Egyptian slave driver in 'The Bible' miniseries

Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado portrays Jesus in 'The Bible' miniseries

The most recognizable face to most in North America will be Downey herself, who stepped into the role of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary is portrayed in the series as a young woman at the Nativity, then later in life.

“It was a privilege to play it,” Downey said. For nine seasons, Downey starred in the CBS show “Touched by an Angel,” then went on to star in a number of TV movies.

“The scripts at one point just said Young Mary, and then as the scripts progressed it said Old Mary. I said, ‘OK, we have to change that right now.’ The last thing I need to see is ‘Old Mary’ played by Roma Downey,” she said with a laugh. “So we changed it to Mother Mary.”

The budget for the 10 hours was under $22 million, Burnett said, a small price tag for a production on such a grand scale. (NBC paid $4 million per episode for the show “Smash” this season, according to an estimate by the New York Times)

“It’s not easy, even for us, to sell and get placed on prime time television, 10 hours – Genesis to Revelation,” Burnett said. “Do we wish we had 25 or 100 [hours], yes but we got 10. We got a great budget. It looks like it’s a $200 million movie. Of course it’s not. It’s just our combined experiences, our hearts and efforts that make it look like that.”

Getting it right

As they considered which parts of the Bible to shoot, they had to pare down hundreds of stories.

“The first decision was, it’s one story,” Burnett said. “It’s not a series of unconnected stories, it’s one grand narrative.”

“You could call it the meta narrative.”

The series encompasses five hours of the Old Testament and five hours of the New Testament.

They took many artistic liberties to compress the story lines while hoping to remain true to the story.

A public relations manager for the project described the liberties to me as “extra-biblical but not contra-biblical.”

For instance, in the series opener, the Book of Genesis stories of Adam and Eve and Noah unfold together. Noah and his family are already on the ark while the flood waters batter their boat. To calm his family, Noah tells them the story of creation: “In the beginning! ... ” Noah bellows as he runs around plugging leaks and comforting his family and the animals.

An actor portrays an Egyptian slave driver in 'The Bible' miniseries

An actor portrays an Egyptian slave driver in 'The Bible' miniseries

Similarly, in the story of David and Goliath, when David heads out to face the giant Philistine foe, he clutches his sling and quietly begins to recite the 23rd Psalm, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.” David is considered the author of the psalm, but nowhere in the text of the David and Goliath story does it address what he said as he walked out to battle and slay Goliath.

The dialogue in much of the story is similarly constructed along the lines of the bare-bones text. When Jesus calls Peter to be his disciple, Peter asks, “What are we going to do?” Jesus answers, “We’re going to change the world.” Those lines never appear in the Gospel accounts, but Burnett and Downey insist it is consistent with the text.

“Every step of the way we’ve had scholars and theologians working with us,” Downey said.

Burnett and Downey consulted a wide range of pastors and academics, including a major evangelical leader and a Catholic cardinal.

Their advisory panel consisted of many people from varied backgrounds familiar with sharing the stories of the Bible rather than of a "who’s who" of Biblical academics.

Joel Osteen, a popular television preacher and pastor of the 30,000-member Lakewood church in Houston, was among those consulted. Osteen and Burnett are friends and were developing a television series together that went on the back burner during the production of this series. Osteen even took his family to Morocco during some of the filming.

“[Burnett] would send scripts our way and ask doctrinal or Bible questions about it, but a lot of it was a friendship and an advisory role,” Osteen said.

CNN Belief: Five things we learned from Joel Osteen's visit

Osteen said much of his work was confirming if the extrabiblical material stayed true to the Bible.

His encouragement to Burnett was to “use your creativity to fill in between the lines.”

Another consultant was Rabbi Joshua Garroway, an assistant professor at the Hebrew Union College and an expert on early Christianity and the Second Jewish commonwealth (circa 530 B.C. to 70 A.D.) Judaism. He was a paid consultant on the project.

“One of the issues that came up frequently in the comments was the goal of the production was to remain faithful, or at least as faithful as possible, to the narrative and text of the Bible, as opposed to a historical critical approach,” he said.

“The series is not meant to be a historical feature but as a representation of the biblical narrative which is at times historical and at times not,” Garroway said.

One reason Garroway thought he was brought in was because in parts of the New Testament, “there are less than generous depictions of Jews, Jewish leaders and Jewish traditions.”

One of several Jewish scholars involved, his role as a New Testament scholar was to help the production stay faithful to the text but also “diminish as much as possible scenes or statements that could be construed as overly negative toward Jews and Jewish judgment.”

While he thinks the project has an overall Christian orientation, “I think they did well.”

“I don’t think it will run into the same problems that Mel Gibson’s movie ("The Passion of the Christ") did because the producers have been somewhat conscientious about forestalling some of the things that could produce that effect in the Jewish community,” he said, referring to perceptions of anti-Semitism from the 2004 film.

Osteen thinks the project will have a lasting impact in churches. He plans to use pieces of the project in his services to help illustrate points he’ll make in his sermons.

“I know I’m biased because I’m their friend, but I think it’ll be something that will live on for generations because it’s done with excellence, not knocking anything else, it’s just this is production 50 years past where some of the other films were made,” he said.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Burnett and Downey also think this project will be their most lasting and most viewed.

Burnett said the couple have deferred all their fees for the project. They probably don’t need the money anyway. Forbes lists Burnett as among its 100 highest-earning celebrities with an estimated income of $55 million in 2012.

While the History Channel owns the exclusive North American rights to the project, Burnett and Downey own the rights to global distribution and theatrical airings, which are in the works. There is also a book tie-in, games and apps attached to the project.

For the couple, the project was not about turning a profit, though they likely will. Instead, it was about bringing new life to the stories of their faith for a new audience.

“Will it be screened in movie theaters? Yes, for sure. "Already been approached. Arenas, churches, every way you can imagine,” Burnett said.

Burnett ticked through the shows he and Downey have put together over the years. “Over the next 25 years," he said, "more people will see this than all the others combined.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Catholic Church • Christianity • Entertainment • TV

soundoff (2,068 Responses)
  1. Daniel

    Dont we already have enough fairy tale kid shows on TV?

    March 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • lol??

      Are you a "wegodian"??

      March 3, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  2. Bob

    I thought history dealt with real instances, not made-up hobgoblins in the sky.

    March 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Michael

      Have you seen the History Channel lately? Most of their programming deals with nonsense about alien visitations. They cater to the tin foil hat wearing crowd now, so this program is right up their alley.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • lol??

      The drones are comin' and you fools don't care.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      History does, but not television. The two are rather different.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • ajburne

      nerd

      March 3, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  3. Ian Clue

    Jesus was an Egyptian slave trader?

    March 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  4. The Day The Earth Stopped Masturbating -- 2012 -- Trailer

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-b2YNErwxw

    March 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  5. Kenman

    Wow, so sad that the CNN viewers appear to be largely bitter, anti-Christian people with no regard for other's devout beliefs!

    March 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Bob

      We have about as much regard for you as you do for us. I respect your right to believe anything you want...too bad christians refuse to reciprocate.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • End Religion

      When one lives in a world of blissful ignorance, people who insist instead on facts may seem bitter to you.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Hello

      there is no difference in respecting a persons believe in a religion than respecting a persons belief in a fairy tale.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  6. Ryan

    Sounds pretty dumb.

    March 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  7. BigSkyHumanist

    I always thought it interesting one doesn't see a Muslim or a Jew praying for God's help on Survivor, now I know why.

    March 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  8. Christian7

    Somehow Daniel knew the exact day Jesus would ride into Jerusalem hundreds of years before it happened. Maybe it was just a lucky guess.

    March 3, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      EIther that, or the book written long after the event said so falsely.

      The bible isn't proof of the bible.

      Why do you sound an awful lot like John? Are we going to hear about hairy triangles?

      March 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      Since you're such a devout thumper, I hope you take the advice of Jesus there in Mathew 19: 11-12 (see below) and DON'T HAVE CHILDREN, DON'T TELL YOUR RUBISH AND MENTAL DELUSION TO CHILDREN, AND DON'T GET NEAR CHILDREN.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Michael

      More like the story was written long after Jesus was dead with the intent of lining up with these prophecies. You can especially see this in the Virgin Birth, which was based on a mistranslation. It was not, nor was it ever, an orthodox Jewish belief that the Messiah would be born of a virgin, but the authors of the New Testament thought so because they were reading a mistranslation.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Melissa

      lol. There are parts of the bible that were written a hundred years after they are claimed to have happen. Try again.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Bob

      If you want to find out where most of the old testament bible came from, read the texts of ancient religions...the transfiguration is pure Egyptian Osirian mythology, many of the poems to ancient gods turn up in the bible, even most christian holidays are taken directly from pagan holidays. Even the 'virgin borth' concept is based on ancient mythology and wasn't decided to be 'real' until hundreds of years after the event was alleged to have taken place. Of course, none of this will make any difference to the christian taliban. They believe because that's what they were taught and woe be to anyone who thinks for themselves.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • ME II

      @Christian7,
      Two, of many, possibilitie explanations.
      1) Jesus, et. al., were aware of prophecies and acted in such a way as to "fulfill" as many as possible, i.e. self-fulfilling prophecy. 2) Few of the events actually happened but were written into the story later in order for it to appear as if Jesus fulfilled the prophecy.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Christian7,

      More likely, the guys who wrote those stories about "Jesus" (and "Jesus" himself, if he existed) READ or HEARD those old-timey tales and made their story match.

      They jumped the shark when they had "Jesus" call for a donkey(s) "to fulfill prophecy"!

      March 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Christian7

      Nietodarwin, Christians have a lower suicide rate than atheist. Please explain how this is bad for children.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  9. Nietodarwin

    This is going to be some SICK TV, because that is ONE SICK PERVERTED BOOK.

    What personal sacrifice for "the kingdom of heaven" was Jesus talking about when he told his disciples, "He that is able to receive it, let him receive it"? CASTRATE YOURSELF!!!! (Matthew 19:11-12) "But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs from the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." (Matthew 19:11-12) The Scholar's Version has: "There are castrated men who castrated themselves because of Heaven's imperial rule. If you are able to accept this (advice), do so."

    March 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
  10. ME II

    Survivor: Israel.

    hint: the Palestinians get voted out.

    March 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      IT IS PROVED, PRAYER DOES CHANGE BRAIN CHEMISTRY. So do drugs and mental illness. Atheism is the only hope for this living planet.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • ArthurP

      No it just wastes time.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Melissa

      Not according to science. Nice try trying to justify yourself, though. It didn't work.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Guys, don't respond to that thing; it's only a bot, and a very limited one at that.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  12. BigSkyHumanist

    This program will be a great way to teach my teens about the bible, but in a skeptical way. We will discuss how Christianity and religion is a cultural phenomena and how people use it today for political purposes just as they have for thousands of years.

    March 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  13. debbie338

    Reality TV Bible. Oxymoron.

    March 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  14. Mopery

    I can't wait to see Lot give his young virgin daughters to the soldiers to be gang-r.aped, that should make for some exciting television for sure.

    March 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
  15. glenview0818

    What are they going to do, have a reality TV program where they crucify the loser. The only thing to remember is, there is nothing real about reality TV.

    March 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  16. Agnostic

    It's really sad that a volume of stories written by Jews a few thousand years ago continues to have such a grip on modern society. I'll never understand how anyone can believe these scriptures are the word of God. Some of it, like the book of Psalms, is just the ranting of madmen. There is only one truth in this universe: nobody knows who or what God is, if he even exists, or what he expects of us, if anything. Religion and conservatism require the sacrifice of free thought and reason in the name of peer pressure and brainwashing.

    March 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • glenview0818

      So..you have some inside knowledge on how the universe works, please share with the rest of us.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • lol??

      You're confused. They call it peer review. Don't cross em.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Agnostic

      The answers could lie in the scientific studies of the quantum brain. There is another place, and our consciousness is continually linked back to it. It could very well be that we are unwitting instruments of exploration reporting back to another dimension. Our creators or dispatchers could very well live there, in a state of being that we couldn't possibly comprehend. They are learning a lot about this universe through us, but it's impossible for us to know anything about them as long as we are here.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • ME II

      @Agnostic,
      "quantum brain"?

      That sounds as unbelievable as the Bible. What's the point?

      March 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • End Religion

      Yes, Agnostic, you could be right. Or we could be in a Matrix. Or we could be in a computer program. And on and on... which is why we try to deal with fact and not religion or other guesses that don't make it past an initial hypothesis.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  17. Holysmokeandmirrors

    Kudos to Burnett for stepping out of his comfort zone. It is a big leap from making reality shows, to making fantasy shows.

    Will the talking snake be computer generated, or will it be a muppet?

    March 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Mopery

      Blasphemy, we all know that talking snakes exist, as do talking donkeys. Both are in the Bible, so they must exist. I just hope he includes the story of Elijah, where God sends bears to devour little children for the sin of teasing an old bald man.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • lol??

      "Sorry! The word "snake" doesn't occur in the KJV."

      March 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • lol??

      "Sorry! The word "donkey" doesn't occur in the KJV."

      March 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • lol??

      You lucked out on bears..............."Isa 59:11 We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but [there is] none; for salvation, [but] it is far off from us."

      March 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Darby O'Gill

      lol??,

      With all due respect to our British friends, who gives a flying fig about that dead 17th century English King's interpretation of an ancient Middle Eastern Hebrew legend...??

      March 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • lol??

      "With all due respect to our British friends,......." There's your first mistake. Churchill was fine, though. He liked Scotch.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • ME II

      ser·pent
      /ˈsərpənt/
      Noun

      A large snake.
      A biblical name for Satan (see Gen. 3, Rev. 20).

      March 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  18. Michael

    "Prayer changes things" is true to a point. If you, due to peer pressure, pray to a being that the being will reveal itself to you, then you're already entertaining the idea of the thing because you're talking to it. And you want it to be true and you want to be converted so that you'll fit in with your buddies. So it becomes self-fulfilling.

    The specific god that you're praying to doesn't matter, you're just convincing yourself that it's true. That's why if you get no results, the cultists will tell you that you didn't have enough faith and they'll insist that you try again. It's like Stockholm syndrome... people can convince themselves of anything if they really want to. But as far as praying for a million dollars or praying that your child's cancer will go away, or that your wife's amputated leg will grow back? Ain't gonna happen.

    March 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Two hands working accomplishes more than a thousand clasp in prayer.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Melissa

      Prayer is for people that don't want to accept reality. They prefer the easy answers.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Prayer is a way of telling god you think his divine plan sucks.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  19. Mopery

    Lies and blasphemy, we all know that it was Odin the All-Father who sacrificed himself on the world tree Yggdrasil, not some upstart carpenter from the Middle East.

    March 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  20. Christian7

    Only really smart and reasonable people decide to go to eternal torment instead of heaven. You are really really smart.

    March 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Only really desperate proselytizers have to resort to threats.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Christian7 –

      I think you posted this in the wrong thread...you must be really, really smart.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Pastafairian

      Christian7
      Only really, really stupid people would believe in a system that could see them back slide into eternal torment. Now the FSM has very little difference between heaven and hell. Heaven has a beer volcano and a stri-pper factory; hell is about the same but the beer is flat and the stri-ppers are old, ugly and have VD, no torrment at all. The kicker is that you do not have to put any of your hard earned cash in the plate, c'mon over and try us for 30 dats, have some fun for a change. You can always go back to your old timey religion if not satisfied.
      RAmen...peace and love from the FSM, god of choice for the fun loving.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Christian7

      Pastafairian, I disagree that hell is fun.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • End Religion

      "The truth is that the [Flying Spaghetti Monster] is hidden all around us. And He's left clues like Italian-style bread crumbs to show us the path to His Eternal Noodliness. He's in our language—every time someone tells you to use your "noodle" they're unknowingly directing you to turn to Him for guidance. And whenever someone talks about a "consPiracy," they're just invoking the mischievous nature of Him and His Chosen People, the Pirates."
      – Gospel of FSM

      March 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How do you know, Christian 7/John? Why is it that no one who's had a near-death experience ever comes back to describe "hell," only a bright light and loving beings?

      There is no hell.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Melissa

      If the only reason you believe in your deity is because you're afraid that you'll be punished, then you don't really believe. And according to your man made bible, that will get you sent to hell. So will the pride you're displaying right now.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Pastafairian

      Christian7
      Yes, well if you choose not to look into the FSM faith that would be true. You are a typical humorless, indoctrinated christian that needs not expand his knowledge beyond your babble, you are Chad like.
      RAmen

      March 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Christian7

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,
      There are near death experiences claim of going to hell. I have no way of knowing if this is true. But he describes hell very closely to the bible:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y35RNQdqfJI&feature=player_embedded

      March 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      That might be because he, oh I don't know, read the bible or something.
      Same way descriptions of Jesus or pictures in slices of toast show a long haired bearded guy yet there is no description of him, just popular representation.

      March 3, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.